Summary: The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

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The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot and examines the life of Henrietta Lacks and her peculiar situation with her mysterious cells. This paper will focus on chapter two in the novel and how it becomes the most important part of the book when it comes to understanding Henrietta’s life story. Chapter two is called “Clover (1920-1942)”, the chapter itself dissects the early life of Henrietta and the challenges she had growing up. In this chapter, it goes over the gender, economic, and racial obstacles that greatly impacted her. It is important to understand the socio-economic conditions that led Henrietta to be treated less than human. During the time Henrietta was growing up the rise of Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow took place, as those who were of color faced enormous challenges every day. It is quite clear in the novel that Henrietta…show more content…
In hard financial times, some women had to have many children to put more workers in the field. Also with the time period of no sex education and protection, children came without intention. For example, Henrietta had her first child just after she turned 14 herself (Skloot 21). This responsibility is in no way acceptable for someone that age to have and take care of a child. The pressure is no way suitable and requires her to adapt to being an adult. This adjustment brought on more labor on her body and destructs the youth in her. Also, it is an interesting dynamic that Henrietta is mothering the children of her first cousin Day. They have been sharing a bed since Henrietta was four years old and one could only speculate how healthy that could have been for a growing girl at such young age. It’s important to remember Henrietta as a mother because that’s what she is the most as for most of her life she has been taking care of her child and birthing five
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